Mikazo wrote:This is an interesting point that you are raising, particularly in that fans have an appetite for character development in a show that never really seemed geared toward that. The Swat Kats is primarily an action show that moves at a frenetic pace, has lots of violence and explosions, and plenty of lame jokes and puns. In my opinion this is actually a show that does not take itself seriously.
It is possible that the style the show wanted to have was something akin to the movie "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," with potential for slapstick moments and absurd over-the-top destruction.
So the idea that we want to move into a model with more character depth is intriguing. If the show were more fleshed out and could have longer episodes rather than brief 20-minute shorts, it is certainly within its reach to do so. The question I have is, how far into that direction should it go? Should its primary focus be on the action and comedy, or should it focus more on drama and character development?
You ask some good questions, Mikazo. Here are my thoughts on this:
I do not agree that the show does not take itself seriously. I think you are confusing having fun with being serious. Yes, those who were working on this show obviously had fun, but they were clearly very serious about this show and making it what it is. There is no feel of “yes, we know this is a silly premise, but bear with us” to Swat Kats. Swat Kats buys its own hype. It immerses itself in its own world and does not question the insanity of it. It does not expect its audience to question it either. We and it jump into this world with both feet because the creative team was serious about this project.
You also seem to equate character development into boring scenes with no action. As if Swat Kats cannot have deeper characters and explosions at the same time. Character growth comes from the journey. The journey can be fraught with anything from the mundane to monsters and big kabooms. You can have both without messing with the action side of Swat Kats. I wasn't ever suggesting taking away the violence, I was suggesting that the Tremblays not use the violence side of the project to be their selling point when they're trying to pitch it to possible investors.
I also don't agree with your insinuation that the fans originally watched and liked Swat Kats because it lacked character depth and we never wanted more characterization as the show progressed, yet, for some strange reason we want it now. We watched Swat Kats because we loved the characters, the explosions and the monsters were the bonus, not the other way around. We always found the episodes lacking in the character development department, despite our love for the show. When we did get any shred of character personal information or character arc, we ate it up. (It is my theory as to why so many people say “Razor's Edge” is one of their favorites despite it being a very cringey episode. But that's a discussion for another day.)
As a whole, the fandom expects more in the storytelling and characterization not just because it's what we always hoped to see in the series since it aired in the 90's, but also because that is the trend in today's animated media. Back then, it was more common to focus less on character drive and growth, and more on the villain of the week. Episodes were self-contained and could be watched in nearly any order because everything was practically “reset” for the next episode. There was no continuity and that is what the general cartoon consumer expected to see.
These days, the quality as a whole in the storytelling for animated shows has increased. We get more multi-episode story arcs, especially in action series. We'll even see one long storyline from the first episode to the last. We as the consumers now are used to a higher quality of storytelling and we expect that from nearly any animated media that isn't aimed at toddlers. Heck, I've seen some shows for very young children that I thought were still quite clever. So of course, we expect to see that from Swat Kats as well. What would be the point of even trying to make another show if there was no attempt to improve upon what was done all those years ago?
Sorry, I got a little ranty there. The trend of storytelling in animated media is a passion of mine.
MoDad wrote:Still a great idea, but if you'd prefer my involvement, I'll probably need at least 3 weeks.
Dude, don't even worry about it. Have a great December, enjoy your holiday and give yourself a vacation. We can talk about it in January if it's still something you want to do.